Ripley’s Game

Portrait of a sociopath: Tom Ripley (John Malkovitch) takes umbrage at a drunken remark from his neighbour Jonathan Trevanny (Dougray Scott), and convinces a former associate of his to recruit him as a hit man. Ripley manipulates people because he can, because it amuses him. Right and wrong don’t come into it, and yet he does live by a set of rules. These rules force him to intervene when Trevanny gets in over his head. Trevanny, a fundamentally honest and caring man and tragic figure, mistakes this intervention for compassion, and–tragically–acts according to his nature. In the end, the film leaves open the question of whether Trevanny’s actions have left Ripley a changed man, or if his new insights into human nature are merely fodder for further psychological games.